Now that Pfizer is FDA-approved, other vaccines should lose emergency authorization

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On Tuesday of this week, the FDA granted approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first such vaccine to receive authorization. Until now, the various vaccines in use had only emergency use authorization (EUA), which is granted by the FDA “during public health emergencies to provide access to medical products that may be effective,” as the Agency writes, if it assesses that the potential benefits outweigh the “known and potential risks” and if “there is no adequate, approved, and available alternative … to prevent COVID-19.”

Vaccines produced by other companies such as Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and Moderna are also expected to apply for full FDA approval in the near future. Meanwhile, technically they should lose their emergency approval, as now there is an “approved and available alternative” – namely, Pfizer’s vaccine, now reborn as “Comirnaty.”

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